Fashion is a global endeavor. And as the world becomes smaller with the spread of ideas and technology, we are blessed with infusions of culture from the far reaches of the globe. Shanghai has long been Asia’s fashion hub, and many of the latest trends in the West got their start in China, and spread easily to Korea and elsewhere until it reached the West. Fresh ideas, bold new designs, and a population with disposable income all make China one of the best possible places to be for fashion.
Plaza 66 is, perhaps, one of the most important places to see and be seen in the Shanghai fashion world. This is no teenage hangout, this is a serious statement about the elegance and glamor of the Pearl of the Orient, and its commitment to high fashion, prestige and as Tyra Banks would say, “Bringing it!” This mall houses only the finest designer brands, and many showrooms in this mall feature designs that are unique to the Asian markets, and thus a rare treat for the fashion connoisseur.
For a more relaxed shopping experience, and a place where denim and a T-shirt would not be scoffed at, try The Grand Gateway Mall which can be a lovely escape from the Puxi old-town feel. You’ll step into a modern world of eateries, fast food, entertainment, shopping, snacking and sometimes live performances. This is, without a doubt, one of the best places in the city to people watch. You’ll see what the locals find fashionable by picking out a bench and just looking for fashion trends. If all else fails, you can always start interviewing people who pass by about Shanghai’s fashion future, and what they find fashionable today. Bring a camera, because you are bound to see a few looks that are unique to Shanghai, and possibly unlikely to flourish elsewhere.
More than anything else in Shanghai, you’ll notice China’s modernity. Beijing has China’s history, Shanghai has its future, this is apparent in the way the Shanghai people dress and act. You’ll find more technology openly used here than in Beijing, and you’ll definitely find a huge venue for fashion. Locally, there are several fashion shows each season. Some are small, like those held throughout the year at M on the Bund, or larger ones that rent rooms at the city’s top hotels. It is easy to check with your hotel to see if any fashion events are forthcoming, you can also check with local media and at the city’s hottest bars.